Today marks one year since I lost my grandfather. This morning I have been reflecting on my time with him, the past year, and all of the events that were happening around the time of his death. And what I take away from all of it is how thankful I am to all of the wonderful people that I get to share my life with.
Bumps had been hospitalized several weeks before he passed away, right before I took my board exam. I didn't learn that he had been hospitalized until after the exam was over. While I was angry at the time, I can't help but be thankful now. I'd like to think that I'm a strong enough person that I could have kept myself focused on my boards, but the fact is, I would have been thinking about him constantly, and really struggled to concentrate on the most important test of my life. So thank you to all of my family members, who I know were suffering, for sheltering me from that so that I could do my best. And thank you of course to Sakief who helped me study, kept pushing me, and put up with my nasty mood swings in the several months leading up to the exam.
On the day that he died, I was preparing to leave for my best friend's wedding. I had stitches removed from my leg. I needed to go get my nails done for the wedding. I had things to finish up at work before being out for several days. Needless to say, it was a hectic day. I ended up leaving work early because I was such a mess, knowing that his time was coming. I was in such a frenzy when I got home that I busted my leg wound back open. Thank you to Joyce who stayed late at work to patch me back up. Thank you to Mollye who kept me company at my nail appointment, and for holding the phone for me when my dad called to give me the news. And thank you to Laura to who kept tabs on my family in DC for me, and who so generously (and sneakily) paid for my nails to be done so that I didn't have any additional worries.
Sakief and I (with the blessing of the rest of my family) still attended Rachel and Robert's wedding that Friday. As soon as I arrived in Ohio I was surrounded with love from Rachel and her family. It was so great to celebrate the marriage of two wonderful people and spend time with some of my best friends, and let me forget my sadness for just a little while.
After the wedding I got to spend several days with my family as we remembered the life of my grandfather. Those are days that I will cherish forever. It's amazing what you learn about someone after they have passed. I am so in awe of my grandfather and the life that he led. Another huge thank you to Sakief here, who went home to Pensacola to care for my pets (and who had to spend almost an entire day in the Columbus airport) so that I could be with my family.
I miss my grandfather everyday, and am so thankful to have gotten to spend 25+ years with him. I'm thankful that he got to see his children and grandchildren grow up; and I'm thankful that he had the chance to meet his first great grandchild. That, to me, is what makes life worth living.
I'm thankful for my two grandmothers, who I am so lucky to have. And for the rest of my family, my parents, brothers, sisters in law, niece, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I don't know many families who are able to keep in touch like my family is (like cousins cousins cousins, I know them all it seems!).
In a few months I am heading back to Maryland for the first time since Bumps's memorial. I am so excited to see my family, most of whom I haven't gotten to see since the memorial. Corrie and I are hoping to go visit Bumps, who is buried at Arlington. It's nice to think that I will have someone who understands there to hold my hand, and vice versa.
I love you Bumps. Miss you everyday.